Fall Comfort Food: Herbs Roasted Chicken with Gravy

Why do I like Fall? Because I get to eat awesome food, duh. And personally, nothing says “Fall” more than super crispy roasted chicken and gravy. I mean just think about it!

Many of you asked for this recipe, so here you go! Also, this dish is quite simple. All you need is a cast iron skillet and patience.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken (preferably organic)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • 3 green onions
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • A stick of butter
  •  Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • Butcher twine

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 425 F.
  2. Wash the chicken well under tab water and then pat dry it with paper towels.
  3. Chop the green onions and parsley together really finely and drizzle with olive oil, some salt, and pepper.
  4. Get messy! With your chicken laying breast-side up, you want to run your fingers between the skin and the meat (towards the cavity.) It should be pretty easy to separate the skin from the meat. Be gentle and make sure you don’t break the skin.
  5. Now you should half two pockets! With a spoon, insert half of the herbs mixture you made in one pocket, and the other half in the second pocket.
  6. Cut the butter into two halves (length-wise) and insert each in the pockets as well.
  7. Rub the remaining leftover herbs mixture all over the chicken.
  8. Add generous amount of salt and pepper in the cavity of the chicken.
  9. With your knife, make some holes in the lemon and insert in the cavity of the chicken.
  10. Tie the legs together with butcher twine.
  11. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper all over the chicken’s skinn and make sure it’s evenly coated.
  12. Slice your onion and garlic head in halves and add them at the bottom of your cast iron skillet.
  13. Lay the chicken on top (breast-side down) and insert in the oven for 1h and 15 minutes.
  14. Take the chicken out, and rub some butter all over the skin. Then baste it with some of the juice you will have at the bottom of the skillet. Put back in the oven.
  15. Turn oven on high broil for 10 minutes. This is the part where you can get that skin really crispy. Don’t move away from the oven and keep an eye out on the chicken. After 10 minutes, take it out again, rub with butter, baste it, put it back in the oven. Broil for 5 minutes. You want that skin to be golden brown!
  16. Take the chicken out and let it rest on a cutting board. You think you’re done? Not quite habibi. It’s gravy time!
  17. By now you should have a lot of juice that has accumulated at the bottom of the skillet and flavored with all the onions and garlic that you added there. Put the skillet on your stove (medium heat), sprinkle flour in, and mix really well. Let it simmer until it thickens. Gravy is done!
  18. Slice off the chicken however you like, drizzle some gravy on, and fight with your significant other about who gets the crispy wings!

If you like this recipe, or if you want more recipes, make sure you follow me on Instagram and YouTube @ We the Habibis!

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Fall Is Around the Corner: Time for Chicken Shorba

Back in habibi land, “shorba” means “soup” and we love our shorbas!

I made this dish because I was feeling a little cold at my apartment in DC, it was raining outside, and to be honest I’m just ready for the fall.

There are so many ways to prepare chicken soup and with whatever ingredients you like. For me, I wanted to add a little touch of Iraqi cuisine to this dish: Noomi Basra!

Noomi basra is a sun-dried lime that Iraqis use as a spice in many dishes. It can also be used to make tea, and it is believed to have many health benefits which I, to be quite frank with you, don’t believe in that much. But what I do believe in is that noomi basra gives your dish so much more flavor and you should definitely give it a try.

Oh right, the shorba. I almost forgot. Yalla, grab your pot and let’s get cooking:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic (or as desired)
  • Chicken drumsticks
  • Low sodium vegetable broth
  • 6 Celery sticks
  • 1 cup of Mushrooms
  • 1 bag of baby Carrots
  • 1/2 Squash
  • 2 cans Beans (any kind)
  • 1 noomi basra
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • two bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp all spice

Directions:

Step 1

Grab a large pot, turn your heat on medium high.

Step 2

Dice and Sauté half of the onion and the garlic together.

Step 3

Season the chicken drumsticks with them salt and pepper and add them in and let them brown a little bit (don’t fully cook them.)

Step 4

Add an entire container of vegetable chicken broth. I wouldn’t use chicken or beef broth because you will get natural chicken flavor from the drumsticks and I prefer that.

Step 5

Add your roughly diced celery, the other half of the onion, mushrooms, carrots, and squash in. Also, add your cardamom, cloves, bay leaves, turmeric, and all spice.

Step 6

Let the broth come to boil, hit it with some salt and pepper (to taste), reduce the heat to low, put the lid on, and set your timer for an hour.

Step 7

Chill

Step 8

After one hour, take the lid off and add in your two cans of beans. At this stage, take the noomi basra out and squeeze it into a cup. Add some of the both in and muddle the noomi basra with a fork or a spoon.  NOTE: please take the seeds out!!! These seeds are extremely bitter.

Step 9

Pour the noomi basra juice (and whatever remained from all the muddling) back to the broth, put the lid back on, and let it sit for another 30 minutes.

Step 10

Serve and don’t share! Just kidding. You can share, as long as you enough!

If you liked this recipe, please share it on FB and IG using #habibisknowbest

Till next time.

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Lemon Butter Chicken with Spinach and Mushrooms

Shako mako habibis?! I’m so excited to share with you this simple and delicious chicken recipe which is so good, I can almost promise you that there won’t be any leftovers to eat tomorrow.

Here’s what you need:

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 5 boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 5 chopped cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 bag of spinach
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 lemon
  • A handful of Parmesan cheese
  • Paprika, kosher salt, and pepper

Directions:

Step 1

Coat the chicken evenly with Paprika, kosher salt, and pepper.

Step 2

Melt the butter in a skillet and add in the chicken thighs. Give each side about 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown, then flip to the other side. Once both sides are nice and crispy, take the chicken out and let it rest on a plate.

Step 3

Now in your pan, you should have little bits of chicken skin and spices all mixed in with the butter. This is where the magic happens!

Step 4

Add garlic and let it saute for just a few seconds to build flavor. Then, add the chicken broth, heavy milk, and Parmesan cheese and stir everything together. The sauce is now complete!

Step 5

Add the spinach, mushrooms, and squeeze the lemon juice in. Lower the heat and wait until you have a gentile simmer.

Step 6

Add the chicken back in (skin side up!) and put the skillet in a 400 F pre-heated oven  for 20 minutes. Once that’s done, turn the over to broil and let the chicken get nice, brown, and crispy for just 5 minutes.

BAM! You’re all set, habibi. When you serve this dish, put the chicken in a plate, then pour the sauce over it. You can eat it as it is, or with a slice of your favorite bread.

Enjoy!

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Turkey Burgers with Arugulamole – Perfect Summer Dinner

Oh hi. Do you like turkey burgers? Are you wondering what arugulamole is? Well, it’s your lucky day, habibi.

Recently, arugula has been by far my favorite green thing to eat. It’s light, full of flavor, and cheap.

Arugula has replaced the lettuce on my burgers (you will see soon!), the sautéed kale, and any other green leaves I used to eat in salads. It’s that good god damn it!

So, I wanted to put the mighty arugula to a test: how will it taste as the main ingredient in a guacamole-like dip?

Freaking delicious, that’s how it tastes! And this is where arugulamole was created.

This meal is simple, quick, and very healthy. It will probably be one of my main go-to meals as I plan my summer diet.

But you’re here for recipes, so let me show you how it’s done.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 bag of baby arugula
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sweet potato

Directions:

Step 1

Throw that sweet potato in the microwave. Okay you can be fancy, and cut it how you like, and toss it in the oven. It will taste better, but take longer. I chose quick! Once cooked, slice it and set it aside.

Step 2

Get chopping. Chop all the parsley and the white onion very finely. This will give the patties a lot of flavor and make step 3 a lot easier.

Step 3

Prepare the turkey patties. In a large bowl, throw in the ground turkey, all the spices, the chopped parsley and white onion. Make sure you pre-wash your hands because it’s about to get messy. You want to use your hands to mix everything together until everything blends well together. Roll and shape patties!

Step 4

In a hot skillet, carefully place the patties. Let them sit there for about 3 minutes then flip them on the other side. Keep an eye on them and make sure you flip them regularly so they’re cooked evenly.

Step 5

Prepare the Arugulamole! This is a new thing I came up with and it’s incredibly easy and delicious. Roughly chop the arugula and put it in a large bowl. Now take your avocado and cut it in half. See this video on how to easily pit the avocado. Scoop the avocado out and start mashing it with a fork until it has the texture of a dip. Add that to the bowl with the arugula. Then chop the red onion and add it in. Toss in olive oil, salt, and some black pepper.

You’re all set! I hope you enjoy this light and summer-friendly meal.

If you have any feedback, questions, or suggestions, please contact me directly! I would love to hear from you.

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Steak Biryani with Fried Potatoes, Peas, and Carrots

Steak biryani, a classic Iraqi dish.
Steak biryani, a classic Iraqi dish.

If you are in Iraq one day, which I hope many of us will be able to visit sooner than later, you will eat this biryani at least once before your trip ends. That is a promise.

Although I am not exactly what the origins or biryani are, being the Iraqi that I am, I’m going to go ahead and make a big claim which might cause an uproar among all the biryani aficionado out there: this is an Iraqi dish god damn it!

No I do not have facts to back this up, and there is a good chance I’m wrong. But how can you learn if you’re always right?

Long story short, biryani (chicken or steak) is a very common meal in Iraq. So, I decided to share this recipe with all ya’ll habibis out there. Let’s get right into it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Basmati rice. Don’t cheap out on rice now
  • 1 lb cubed beef
  • 1 cup cubed potatoes
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 cardamon pods

Directions:

  1. Prepare the rice first. For every cup of rice, add 1 & 1/4 cup of water. Add 1 cardamom pods, 1 clove, and the turmeric. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and let it simmer until done. Check on it every once in a while to make sure if it needs a little bit more water. You want the rice to look fluffy, not too soft and not too hard.
  2. While the rice is cooking, go ahead and start preparing the meat. We want the meat to be nice and tender. This means you will need to be patient. First, sear the meat in large pot. Use your biggest pot, you will thank me later.
  3. Once the meat is looking nice and brown, add a little bit of water, just enough to cover a quarter of the meat. Add the other cardamom pod and the clove.Bring the water to boil, reduce heat to very low, cover the pot, and let it sit for at least 45 minutes.
  4. While the meat is cooking, prepare your potatoes. Add some oil in to your skillet, make sure it’s nice and hot, then add in your potatoes. Once they’re golden brown, take them out and set them aside.
  5. After 45 minutes, take the lid of and make sure you boil off any remaining water. Once everything is dry, take the meat out of the pot and set it aside. Feel free to hit it with some salt now if you want to. I didn’t use any.
  6. Now, in the same pot, add in some olive oil, your all spice, and black pepper. Then add in your peas and carrots. Stir them in well and let them cook until the carrots soften up a little bit.
  7. Now you have the rice, meat, potatoes, and veggies done, all you have to do is to mix them all up together in the pot. See why I told you to use a large one? You’re welcome.
  8. Add the meat first, then rice, then the potatoes. Put the lid on, and reduce heat to low. Let everything sit for 15 minutes. This will allow all the flavors from the meat, cardamom,   cloves, and spices get mixed up together.
  9. Now gently stir everything together. You don’t the rice and potatoes to get mushy. Just take your time and stir all the ingredients so they’re nicely mixed. Let that sit for another 15 minutes on low heat.
  10. And Bon Appétit!

Give this bad boy a try and let me know how it is. If you enjoy my recipes, please share them on social media with your family and friends. And if you’re new here, please hit the subscribe button and join the Habibis Family!

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